FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 5th, 2019
World Breastfeeding Week, As Long As It’s “Modest and Discreet”
(BISMARCK, ND) – The research behind breastfeeding is clear and conclusive. The Cleveland Clinic states breastfeeding benefits the baby by providing essential nutrients to aid in brain development. It also protects against allergies, ear infections, gastroenteritis, and more. Benefits to the mother include faster healing after delivery, lowering the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, plus saving thousands of dollars!
House Bill 1330 was introduced by a nearly all-female contingency, including Dem-NPL Representatives Gretchen Dobervich, who was the lead sponsor, Mary Schneider, Pamela Anderson, Ruth Buffalo, LaurieBeth Hager, Karla Rose Hanson, and Alisa Mitskog. The goal of the bill was to remove language from the current law that states women can breastfeed anywhere as long as it’s in a “modest and discreet manner.” The bill also aimed to provide a penalty to any place of business that infringes upon this right.
Discriminatory behavior towards nursing mothers is, unfortunately, still a reality today. In January 2018 a nursing mother was asked to cover up at the soft opening of Chick-Fil-A in Fargo. The mother explained her child refused to be covered while feeding, and other patrons could practice the fine art of looking away. The owner then told the mother if she chose not to cover, she would have to ask her to leave.
Senator Erin Oban recently spoke with Sonji Milburn of KX news, “…underneath the indecent exposure part of century code. As somebody said in the debate on this bill, It is currently legal to walk around topless but not legal if somebody determines that you are not being discreet enough when you are breastfeeding. Whether we like it or not, as somebody who is sitting next to someone breastfeeding then you can avert your eyes.”
“It’s unacceptable that a breastfeeding mother has to worry about doing so in a ‘modest and discreet manner,’ or face ridicule,” said Alison Jones, Communications Director of the North Dakota Dem-NPL Party. “It’s unfortunate that Republican legislators were unwilling to work with Democrats and compromise on certain parts of the bill. North Dakota isn’t sending the message to young people that we are a ‘family-friendly state’ when legislation supporting something as common and natural as breastfeeding can’t get passed.”